Photo: Shai Rozentzweig
Halutz. Harsh reaction
Photo: Shai Rozentzweig
Refuseniks' platoon to be reassembled
The Lavi platoon, dismantled last July following acts of refusal among its recruits, set to be reassembled in near future. IDF will however not allow objectors to rejoin platoon
The Yeshiva students' Lavi platoon, which was dismantled prior to the disengagement after nine of its members refused orders to block the Kissufin crossing, is expected to be reassembled soon, Ynet has learned.


"Justice has finally been done," one of the platoon's recruits said.


However, the nine objectors will remain separated from the platoon, and will not be assigned to fighting positions.


Harsh move against objectors


On July this year, ahead of the scheduled disengagement, while the IDF was implementing the first steps of the plan to pullout from Gaza, 12 recruits of the Lavi platoon disobeyed orders to block settlers' entrance into the Strip.


While three of the objectors later went back on their refusal, nine insisted on rejecting their commands. The recruits were tried in a military court and sentenced to prison terms ranging between 14 to 28 days each.


Then newly-assigned Chief of Staff Dan Halutz responded harshly to the acts of refusal, and ordered that all objectors are removed from fighting units. Halutz also initiated, in an unprecedented move, the dismantling of the Lavi platoon altogether.


The 30 soldiers of the platoon were reassigned to other companies shortly following the incident at the Kissufim crossing.


Troops to reunite


The religious troops reacted badly to the decision, claiming they should not be punished for their peers' actions, and saying it would be difficult for them to function in 'secular' companies. Some even threatened to leave their army base.


However, the move was eventually carried out, and Lavi recruits, who were divided into groups of two or three and allotted to the different companies, were left with a bitter taste in their mouths.


Lately, the IDF has decided to reassemble the platoon, but the recruits themselves were only partly notified of the decision.


"We were told that soon, after we have finished our advanced training, we can return to the battalion. But no one told us how this will in effect take place," one of the troops said.


The decision was to allow all the platoon's recruits to return to their original platoon, if they wished to do so.


Recruits: We were wronged


The IDF hopes that this act will lessen the damage done to soldiers who had no part in the refusal, and who were punished for no fault of their own.


"Ever since the dismantling of the platoon, we all feel that we were wronged. If we can go back to the platoon we would feel that justice has been done," one of the soldiers said.


"We were very angry of what was done to us, and some of us even complained to high ranking officers," he added.


Notably, the army's policy toward the nine objectors remained unchanged. They have been assigned to administrative posts and are not expected to return to fighting positions.


The IDF Spokesperson Unit said in response: "In light of the refusal incidents at the 900 support unit, nine soldiers were removed from the training course and appointed to other positions."


"This decision resulted in the dismantling of the platoon as a whole and to a division of the recruits between different companies. As agreed, once they have completed their advanced training, those who were not involved in acts of disobedience will be allowed to return to their original platoon," a source at the unit said.


פרסום ראשון: 10.19.05, 19:35
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